1 Kazrall

Narusaku Essay

  I'm honestly disappointed with the ending of Naruto Shippuden. i believe the ending with Naruto and Hinata ending together, isn't and shouldn't be the right choice. Masashi Kishimoto in everything he has done with naruto part 1 and 2, mest up on that. i am not saying his master piece on naruto in general is wrong. I'm only saying i do and not only me, but also other people WHO AREN'T EVEN A NARUSAKU FAN believes (because common sense) Sakura should have ended with naruto because they had so much going on. That's it. Never have i thought that naruto and hinta were gana end up together. Kishimoto made "Narusaku" fans disappointed, mad, annoyed, disgusted, ashamed, heart brokened and confused. He played and teased us for nothing therefore, lost my respect. What i'm gana say, i'm not pulling these things from my imagination like some young narusaku fan girls, i'm pulling these facts right out from naruto. It was clear, sooooooo clear that Naruto and Sakura was gana end up together. Kishimoto shouldn't have played with our emotions or shouldn't have made us seem like fools on thinking something that was clear was supposedly not gana happen. I will first talk about how i believe and still believe Sakura and naruto was gana end up and should be together then i'll tell you why there was more of a possiblity on sakura with naruto than hinata with naruto. I want everyone to read this even if it's long, whether you're a Narusaku fan or Naruhina fan (Narusaku fans be prepared because you're gana love this). Read this with an open mind and not a closed mind because then people are gana be writing negative stuff and not even worth writing comments. I don't care about the negative comments like "Oh get over it, you're salty or you're blah blah blah" I'll admit it myself. Yes i am butt hurt so what ya'll gana tell me, isn't gana hurt me cause kishimoto already hurt me enough to not feel anything. You guys also have to understand where i'm coming from. I always tell other people (naruhina fans) that i understand them but just because i understand them doesn't mean they're gana change my mind about who he should have ended up with. Please share this to everyone. i want it to be spread all over that even Kishimoto reads this and understand where us Narusaku fans are coming from.

Part 1:


   For those people who are like "Sakura always treated naruto like crap even when they were kids". Well, you just said it. They WERE JUST KIDS. i was like sakura when i was a child. i used to punch, kick and hurt all the guys but liked only "cool" guys. Everyone has done that when they were just kids. But here's some stuff when sakura was good to him since no one can recall on... In the episode where they were having that bell test from Kakashi, Sakura was impressed from the way naruto was doing well with his clones meaning she thought good of him. Naruto obviously saved Sakura more times than she did but Sakura also saved and protected naruto as well. In "Land of Waves Arc", Sakura saves naruto by protecting him with her body. Sakura is also shown to be admiring his will and soon begins to notice his improvements in training as well. In the Chunin exams, Sakura again helps naruto when Naruto was knocked out and falling Sakura pins him to a tree with her kunai to keep him from falling. She also fights back to protect naruto and sasuke when they were both knocked out but fails but atleast she did something. When Naruto faces Kiba Inuzuka, Sakura is shown to silently encouraging him. When Kiba begins to mock Naruto, Sakura is shown thinking to herself how she used to think the same, but how wrong she was. Silently and to herself, she tells Naruto to show everyone who had always doubted him to be proven wrong. As she says this to herself, Naruto wins. During Naruto's match with Neji Hyuga, Sakura is also shown cheering him on. What i was trying to say about sakura is basically, she was impressed, thankful and also wanted to protect naurto as well. It's because of naruto, sakura becomes stronger because she felt like she can't even save her team and naruto always has to save her. So she worked hard to later show naruto how strong she can be. She did all that hard work for herself and naruto. 


 Ever since he was young he liked and had feelings for sakura and always tried to impress her with his fail clones and strength. Naruto was always there for sakura and vice versa just like in episode 141 Sakura was willing to give her life and what did she say? She said she would give up her life for someone she CARES ABOUT because naruto gets trapped in that traingle sphere type thing. He then breaks out to protect sakura and to tell her to never do that and to never give up. During the preliminary matches exam, when Sakura was to face Ino, Naruto cheered her on. When Ino tries to make Sakura forfeit, Naruto loudly cheers her on, telling her not to give up. Thanks to his cheering, Inner-Sakura awakens and Sakura forces Ino out. Sakura thanks naruto for cheering for her, even saying that had he not, she would've lost. In "Search for Tsunade Arc", After the defeat of Gaara, Sakura thanked Sasuke for saving her but he confesses that it was Naruto. Thankful, Sakura turns to watch Naruto and gives him a smile. Naruto liked sakura so much that he transformed him self to be Sasuke to be next to a girl he really likes.. Naruto in Sasuke's form complimented her forehead, making her blush. Even though it was the form of sasuke, he made her feel good about herself. When sakura then gets called annoying from the real sasuke and she thinks more of naruto to be nicer to him. 

Part 2:


  Right away in part 2, Sakura is the first (with konohamaru and crew) to see Naruto. Sakura looked impressed and attracted to naruto when she first sees him she EVEN BLUSHED. When she asked naruto if she looked different, he said no. & she gets mad. She got mad because she wanted to hear good things about her looks from naruto. Many people also says that Sakura's confession that she said she loved Naruto was just a lie while Hianata's confession wasn't. Oh how sad. Smh. i'll help you remember what happened earlier within those episodes... After the pain fight and while Tsunade is still in coma, sai asks naruto does he like sakura because he can tell since he's always smiling around her and naruto DIDN'T EVEN DENY IT. All he said was "How can i when i can't even keep a promise to her". Later on that day or episode, Sai goes and tells sakura what Naruto did for sasuke (getting beat for not saying information about sasuke) and adding to that, Sai tells her Naruto loves her. She started to cry and you can see how bad she felt. No one ever told sakura naruto loves her. Never. Yeah she can see the way he acts when hes with her but thats not a confirmation to a girl that he truly does care for her. She was surprised. Then, thats where sakura later tells naruto out of no where she loves him and to come back. If you can see, When sakura told naruto she loves him, She looked like she was shy, sinceire and honest about saying that. Many people says it was a plan and she was acting but i wouldn't even act that good to the point i blush if i was trying to lie to a guy i didn't even care about. Sakura told the crew that day about how she'll handle naruto before sai told her. Understand this, the reason why he thought she was lying is because it came out of no where and obviously anybody in that position would feel like that too. But naruto doesn't know sai told sakura that he loves her. That's why he only can think about the flashback on that day where sakura is begging him to bring back sasuke. That's when she hugs him, but he pushes her off. If you see, sakura looked like her eyes was tearing up and then gets mad. Why did she get mad? it's common sense.. She wasn't expecting that response especially since sai told her naruto loves her. So she thought he was gana react in another way. Sakura told him how she felt and he's gana act like that? She felt like a fool. But as a girl, i can understand that and it's not only what she said, its how she said it. Her face reactions, her emotions, her body movements... you have to catch all that and be in her place to understand. Another reason is when Sakura cried so hard and did not let go of naruto when supposedly he "died". Even in the movies they end up together. Where he goes, she goes. In the movie "the lost tower" at the end when Sara's grandaughter or a girl who resembles sara appears and when done talking to naruto, sakura then grabs and pulls on Naruto's ear and yells at him for having 'perverted daydreams.' She showed she was jealous. Sakura has a different way of showing love and being tough is love for her. Sakura is shown to be openly protective over Naruto and constantly concerned for his well-being. Additionally, Sakura realizes that Naruto has done a lot for her and wishes to repay the debts outside of "small and insignificant" things such as healing him. Sakura greatly admires Naruto, particularly after he defeated Nagato. Sakura has been shown to get angry and yell at people who insult Naruto, such as Sai and even Sasuke, who was her crush. She even fed him when his arm was broken. Sakura improved greatly on how she used to treat naruto. 


 When sakura asked naruto if she looked different, he said no. & she got mad but thats a good thing since he did first like her when young. After a while when he arrives to the village sakura and naruto started to train together to get the bells again from kakashi, He asks Sakura out for a date based on the get-together's promise, and unlike she usually does she agrees only if he pays (and he doesn't have the money, though they still go on the date).    In episode 235, Naruto confesses that he not only loves sakura, but is also is in love with her and that her smile is the most "cutest" thing. He told the princess Shizuka that he has "made up his mind and he's gana try his hardest to try to win sakura over". What happened to the "i never go back on my word, that is my nindo! My ninja way!"? How can naruto go through so much by trying to save sasuke, fighting fights that almost costs his life, handling & over coming his own jinchuuriki and becomes the hokage BUT CAN'T GET THE GIRL HE'S IN LOVE WITH? It makessssss NOOOOOOOOOO SENSE. I don't care if people tells me "fillers don't count" but guess what? Was that episode in a fan girls youtube videos or made up love stories? NO. that was in Naruto Shippuden itself. So that was important and true. While sakura later proves her skills as a talented medical ninja by saving kankuro's life, naruto seems to look impressed and tells himself how great she became to be. By the way, i don't know why people still hating on sakura saying she's too weak for naruto. most of it is completely unjustified. While she did have her moments in part in part 2 she's actually become one of the most dangerous. Sure she doesn't have the power of the fox but you have to remember she's doesn't have the jinchuuriki like naruto. Aside from her immense strength she is also a skilled medic, she has the same power like tsunade and she's got a very sharp mind. Her combo of mental focus, physical power and her medical know-how that make her deadly. Sakura didn't need naruto chakra to help her fight in the last war like how hinata did. so... stop.

Naruto Parents:

 Naruto parents a.k.a Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki... Wow.. You know what is disrespectful? When him and his father while saving the girls they both love, saves them the same way in a scene, when Kushina hugs naruto the same way just like Sakura when saying "thank you", when kushina and sakura both looked down on minato and naruto, when minato and naruto both gaved confidence to kushina and sakura about their looks, when kushina and sakura both makes the same pose when cheering on naruto, when kushina and sakura are very aggressive and short tempered, when both kushina and sakura have innerself talks, when kushina and sakura both have similar scenes when they stood up for themselves, when kushina tells naruto "try to not pick a weird one, TRY TO FIND SOMEONE JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER" and naruto ends up with Hinata? That's going against his dead parents hopes for their son. You're gana say "But that's what his parents wanted" BUT, thats what naruto wanted too. His parents didn't know who he was gana be with but they just gave him advice on who he should be with. I for sure knew they were for each other when his own parents do/did the same things as naruto and sakura. Minato even asked naruto if sakura was his girl friend and naruto replied as "yeah, you can say that". His own father said to naruto sakura acts just like kushina (remember kushina said find a girl that is like me) and told sakura to take care of him in chapter 631. Not only that but Kishimoto even agreed on that his wife acts like sakura.

Hinata: (Part 1 and 2)

  There are 220 episodes in Naruto part 1. From all those epsiodes, she's only in 33 and wait, that's not all, From those 33 episodes, she's mainly in only 20. She was barely in the episodes. When she had a chance to talk to him, she would faint, get nervous or hide. Naruto NEVER said anything or describes hinata in a way like he does about sakura. i bet she doesn't appear alot in naruto shippuden either.. well obviously alot more because of the war but not alot alot either. just a bit more episodes than the 33 in part 1. Many people say the waterfall episode is where naruto "begins" to like hinata... But.. umm.. he only liked her body or her shadowy appearance. He didn't talk about how great of a person she was from the inside like all the time like how he did for sakura. He didn't even know who that was. That's like you riding your car to the beach but while you're driving, you see a girl with a nice body walk pass your car but her face hiding away from her glasses & hat. You didn't know who she was. She could've been your enemy or a weirdo or a nice body but ugly face type of girls. Like, c'mon now. You can't tell me that from the few times he actually talks to hinata, He falls inlove with her. Why? because she confessed that she loves him? Naruto didn't even say anything back.. she got in the way and naruto, being naruto saved/gets revenge because Number 1, he was already fighting pain. he obviously had to finish him off. Number 2, he values his friends and their friendships. Number 3, he didn't save her the way he does to sakura with more emotions. People says "But naruto saves sakura just as friends too", but remember that naruto does more for sakura than for hinata. it goes the same way when she was younger. Naruto saved her because she was a girl, getting beat up. Obviously i would save her too or anybody if i see someone getting beat up. i wouldn't just walk away and not care. Ever since he was a kid, he wanted to be hokage to show everyone that he is strong enough to take care of his people and to be known. Hinata is one of those people. But yes, you go hinata for confessing that. BUUTTTT, naruto been confessed his love about sakura. Remember, he didn't feel worthy enough to tell her because he can't even keep his promise. Let's be realistic and honest, if you're in love and you love ONE girl, you're gana love that one girl. Some people says "Naruto deserves Hinata because Sakura treats him like crap" BUUUTTTT everyone rejected/rejects and i bet keeps on rejecting that girl/boy who likes you and treats you better for the girl/boy you can't get over because your heart is already takened. i'm not trying to be mean but we all have done this before and don't lie. So don't try to be so nice in here but we ourselves treat other people who we "deserve" like crap. So where's the point on that? Even if that person who cares for you and would give up her life like hinata (sakura also tried to give up her life for naruto too), don't mean you're gana *boom* like her and marry her. Like, if a guy tried to give up his life for me BRAVO and congrats and thank you but if i still care about someone, i'm not gana let go of that person. Just because you do those type of stuff don't mean you're gana have something special with them now. Hinata isn't ugly but she's not for naruto. lets talk about the other war, I actually find it very interesting how majority of the people considered any romance in chapter 615 and 631. When hinata holds/touches naruto face, sakura been did that too in episode 15 in naruto shippuden. That's like a sign to make naruto get it back together since he's always dozed off thinking. And for Hinata's hand holding, it was more of a comrade thing from Naruto but affections from Hinata like always. If you read clearly, Naruto's jinchurikki is talking to him and he says "Your life is not only one" like basically saying people died for you. These people are with you and stands by you. You don't live for yourself, you live to do what you told those people who sacrificed themselves or fought for you now. Thats when he says you're right, etc. and he holds hinata hands saying thank you for opening his eyes and remembering what he is supposed to do. i mean.. since hinata is the one who brought it up. NaruHina interaction was kept to a minimum, and they held hands to TRANSMIT CHAKRA. In chapter 615, the only scene remotely close to romance was when Minato asked if Sakura was Naruto's gf and that was only because she was compared to Kushina by Minato (the canon pair). I seriously don't get why people think that NaruHina and SasuSaku are completely logical and make sense. Naruto and Hinata literally talked once before he left then once or twice before the war. Beside her confession (to which he never responded) and that encouragement when Neji died, there hasn't been any significant build-up between them. And I don't think that what has been shown is enough. Hinata I can somewhat understand, she got attracted to Naruto because of his attitude and cheerful appearance but she's not the main people in the story, like i said and ima keep saying, she never shows up. Kishimoto can't be like "hm.. ok well naruto and hinata are together now" when there's no sense or build up in that "relationship". That's like saying Nami and sanji from one piece are gana end up together. Nami doesn't like sanji but sanji does. Sanji would do anything for her but Nami showed she liked luffy in that "love letter" thing and only uses sanji.. it's the same here just that hinata isn't that important. 

Sakura, Naruto and saskue love triangle: (Part 1 and 2)

  Obviously sakura, ino and all the other girls liked sasuke because he was "cool". They were just kids... Who didn't like the popular kids when they were younger? Since ino and sakura were good friends until they both liked sasuke shows that this "crush" was a competition to just see who will win sasuke's heart. Nothing else. i'm guessing she went overboard tho.. But Naruto liked sakura so much that he transformed him self to be Sasuke to be next to a girl he really likes.. Naruto in Sasuke's form complimented her forehead, making her blush. Even though it was the form of sasuke, he made her feel good about herself. When sakura then gets called annoying from the real sasuke and she thinks more of naruto to be nicer to him. Yes, we all know sakura is stubborn and dumb but still, she still had something for naruto that was still not sure to her. In chapter 631, Sakura saying Sasuke's name was really just shock from his sudden change in alliance just like every other character (except for Naruto). SasuSaku is even more illogical if not totally crazy! I mean, Sakura wanted Sasuke ever since the academy and he never, not even once shown anything positive regarding her feelings. After he left, they saw each other twice before the war and the second time he literally tried to kill her. He never even acknowledged her existence other than being annoying. There is no way that Sasuke likes Sakura. Not even as a friend.. well just a small possibility.. Sasuke is like a black sheep. He has an attitude and always had that attitude that is like "I don't want to be with you or talk to you, you, you, or you so get away from me" Sakura though only liked Sasuke because of his looks. Little shallow, wouldn't you say? The only pairing I can really see is NaruSaku. Many (Naruhina fans) would disagree, but it really is the only logical pairing. Naruto was always there for Sakura, cheered her up and saved her life multiple times. They interact with each other and know each other very well, something that can't be said for Naruto and Hinata or Sakura and Sasuke. Kishimoto made sakura look like a person who can't move on from sasuke and making her look bad because she should have moved on to naruto. Sakura doesn't look like that type of girl. She looks and seems tough and independent. No girl who acts like sakura would ever date a guy at the end of it all who treated her like crap and shows no feelings towards her. Not even a bit. Hinataa is the one who looks like the girl she is. a person behind someone. You might say "But sakura did the same" & no she didn't. She showed some type of feelings here and there that are noticeable that she has something for him. She's just a tomboy at times and like i said, that's how she shows her love. 

Masashi Kishimoto fooled us..

  Masashi Kishimoto from even in the beginning made something special between Sakura and Naruto. Kishimoto needs to explain himself step to step and give a 30 page essay why Naruto ends up with hinata. All that hope that Masashi Kishimoto gaved us narusaku fans for nothing? If this was gana be the ending all along and naruto was gana be with hinata at the end, how come naruto is basically never with hinata and why is it that there are more about naruto and sakura than hinata and naruto? it be like "WHERE, WHERE, WHERE WAS SHE AT DOE?" lolol. but i know there are POINTLESS fan shippers like for example "Natsu and Erza", etc. when we all know lucy and natsu will end up together because Hiro Mashima said they're gana even have a daughter and he explained that but first, they're just getting along to build up a better friendship and then they'll be together.. So.. How come hiro is smarter than kishimoto on building up something obvious that they're gana be together first then being together later? and Erza loves jellal and jellal loves erza. Basically, fans are making up a love that is not there but for all the smart people who have common sense, we get all these butterflies in our stomach about Naruto and sakura because its coming right out of naruto and not from our imaginations. Like i said, hinata's never with naruto. If you go to the Naruto couple.wikia.com you'll see there are more narusaku information about them than naruhina. Sakura cried so hard and did not let go of naruto when supposedly he "died", Wouldn't you think hinata should've been in her place instead of sakura? From between the 2 serious fights and times hinata actually was "with naruto" is NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE TOGETHER. Like.... they should have slowly started something first. it didn't though. That's why we narusaku fans are crushed because of this. like i said, if they were gana end up together from the start, they should have done something and made everyone realize something was gana happen between them from the start. If that happened, i wouldn't have been a Narusaku fan, i would've been a Naruhina fan because i'm the type of person who don't like to support something that isn't gana happen at all. There was more chances for sakura and naruto than him and hinata. Nartuo did soooooooo many things for sakura. Naruto in alot of the times was in a problem because of sakura and always got out of them to protect sakura and to show her he's strong enough to protect her. Matter infact, Hinata is like Meng from avatar in Book 1, epsiode 12. In that epsiode when they're at the fortuneteller place, Meng shows to like Aang (just like how hinata likes naruto) and later in that episode you see her try to get with aang and show him she likes him. But it's like a triangle.. Meng tries to get aang's (Naruto) attention while Aang is trying to get katara's (sakura) attention and katara is not even noticing or not even caring about it. Katara asked Aunt Wu a question and that question was "Do you see something in my love line" and she replied "You'll marry is a powerful man". Obviously aang gets happy so like i said, tries to get her attention after that but katara didn't even think about Aang like that until later on in that episode when aang stops the lava from going to the town and sokka says "aang is a powerful bender" and she looks amused. But guess what? Aang and katara ends up together. So why didn't sakura and naruto end together? i heard that naruto's kid & sakura child might have some type of love but FOR WHAT? Whats the whole point for there kids to have something but not there parents? its stupid as hell. It was sooo obvious that narusaku was happen cause even in the ending songs and opening songs, its all about naruto and sakura like for examples, Naruto shippuden ending song number 12, in the video Jiraiya pushed naruto towards sakura but naruto walking away/backing away from sakura being shy/embarrassed. In naruto shippuden opening song number 8, Naruto is drowning in a sea of red water, when Sakura puts her hand on his back, at which the water changes to blue, and pushes him toward the surface. Later (after Sakura), many other supporting characters also place their hands on Naruto's back. Also in shippuden opening song number 10, Naruto is shown running recklessly. In the middle of a plain where Sakura appears to be waiting for him, Naruto suddenly stops rather close to her and starts leaning in close to her face, while she leans backwards in embarrassment. In naruto shippuden ending song number 16, a naked Sakura stands against a steamed window as she draws Naruto's face, and MY FAVORITE, The song "Lovers" by 7 in opening 9 the lyrics appear to relate to Naruto consoling Sakura about how she don't need to be tough anymore and how much they have been through together. Some of the lyrics are "even though I understood clearly that what was important was "you" in my heart. & You don't need to act tough anymore, for we will stay together now" and Etc. Throughout the series, Naruto and Sakura have been shown to share mutual admiration and strong respect for one another. In Iruka's lesson of Heaven and Earth, he makes a real-world example of Naruto and Sakura, showing that each of them can't survive without the other. Sakura has been teased and/or pointed out as Naruto's girlfriend by Konohamaru, Gamakichi, and Minato respectively, among others. Despite having feelings for Sakura, Naruto acknowledges her feelings for Sasuke. He also made a "lifetime promise" to bring Sasuke home, which is seen as both a positive and negative element of their relationship. Sakura has shed tears for Naruto on numerous occasions whether due to his life being in danger or simply due to his commendable words and actions. Naruto has been shown to recklessly save Sakura numerous times when her life was in danger, likely more than anyone else has. Naruto and Sakura are known to constantly bicker, often ending with Sakura comically punching Naruto for being stupid, although they quickly get over each one. Like in episode 235, before he confessed his love for sakura, he tells Shizuka "Don't you have to love and be attracted to each other first" then naruto says he's in love with sakura. That's mest up to the fullest. how is he gana say all that but end up with hinata. Yes, i understand people move on BUUUUTTTTTTTTT, you can't ever truly move on from your first love especially when you both did basically and went through everything together. Naruto is the type of guy who never stops fighting until he conquer what he wants. it's sad that hes just gana give up on sakura like that. SO FROM ALL THIS, YOU'RE TELLING ME THAT THIS WAS ALL FOR NOTHING?! Kishimoto didn't need to do all this if that ending was gana happen. It could've been simply naruto and hinata. why so much confusion and giving his fans hope on those 2? It would've been super cute and such a better story if Naruto and Sakura ended up with each other because they surpassed their leaders like Tsunade and Jiraiya on there strength but they should've surpassed them in there relationship also. Since Jiraiya liked Tsunade and Tsunade liked Orochimaru and Jiraiya couldn't get with Tsunade.. it would've been cute if the new generation (Since there leaders are the Konohagakure's legendary Sannin) of the legendary sannin could've ended up with eachother (Naruto and Sakura) just because they also had a love triangle as well. Not only that but it could've showed that naruto never gave up on sakura or his dream, that his love was so real he went through so much for her and that after all these years he finally gets to have the girl who was so tough with him at first and become hokage. THAT would've been a better story since that is what he wanted and he proves to everyone that he never goes back on his word and that he never gave up. Congrats to the Naruhina fans tho.. but.. hinata isn't for naruto and ima still stand my ground about this. i just want kishimoto to rewrite that part only. nothing else. i bet he's getting mad threats right now for this but he shouldn't have ever played with us like that.



 ^Talks about how other characters knew that narusaku was gana happen.




It's one o'clock in the afternoon. Lunch time.

Everywhere I look are people my age laughing and yelling and blabbing on about money and cars and whatnot. The sun is beating down brightly on all of us, as birds sing their songs from the trees planted throughout the school yard.

In sharp contrast to my surroundings, I'm frowning angrily, my arms crossed and my mouth pulled into a childish pout. My food is lying untouched on the table in front of me. My glare is directed at the piece of paper next to my food tray. A History essay I spent eight entire hours of my busy teenage life on. Eight hours! That is a lot for me, considering I have about the attention span of a doorknob and History interests me as much as - well, football. Or tennis. Or whatever sport the majority of my school can't get enough of. Anyway, the reason for my bad mood is the huge C splattered down on it in the ugliest shade of red I have ever seen.

A C. I got a C. On an essay. A History essay.

Goodbye, Harvard. Hello, fulltime counter job at McDonalds.

What will my Mom think? Or my dad? They will disown me!

Snarling, I take the knife off my plate and cut the corner of my essay with it. I breathe out through my nose, making the pink bangs hanging in my face flutter up annoyingly.

''Honey, stop frowning. It's just a C,'' That heartwarming comment comes from my best friend Ino, who sits on the chair next to me. ''I get them all the time, and you don't see me cutting them to pieces.'' Her own essay is stuffed deep into her bag, with the other grades she couldn't care less about.

''Ugh,'' I reply just as warmly.

''Just put that knife down, you're scaring everyone off,'' She says, taking the plastic thing from me and tossing it into a trashcan close to our table.

I breathe out again and lean back. ''My parents are going to be so mad.''

''At you? For one C? You never do anything wrong. Just wait until Karin does something off the hook stupid before you tell them. '' Ino offers with a disregarding wave. ''It's all about relativity, my friend.''

I snort at this, although my best friend does in fact have a point. My sister's, ahem, problems (involving her getting arrested about once a month,) might prove to come in handy in this case.

When I finally poke my fork into my food - who needs a knife, anyway? - someone approaches our table. It's Kiba. When he's right in front of our table, Hinata's head pokes out from behind his back. God, that girl is skinny.

''Hi guys, sit down!'' Ino greets with a flick of her blonde hair.

''Hey,'' Kiba greets, baring his strangely pointy teeth as he grins. I watch smiling as he pulls out Hinata's chair as well. Kiba's had a crush on Hinata for as long as I've known them, although she's strangely oblivious to this fact. ''What grade'd your essay get? I got a B, and Hinata here got an A!''

Bam. Instant mood drop.

My eyes narrow and dart from Kiba to Hinata and back. ''That's none of your business!'' I snap.

"Someone's got their cranky pants on.'' Kiba remarks in a sing-song voice as he digs into his food. The small girl next to him looks startled.

''What's wrong, Sakura?'' Hinata asks in that high-pitched voice of hers.

In reply, I take my essay, crumple it up and angrily throw it at the same trashcan Ino threw my knife into earlier. Only the essay bumps into the side and lands on the grass. I stare at it, flabbergasted, and let out an annoyed groan. Well, that means I can cross 'pro basketball player' off the list of jobs I keep at the back of my mind. You know, for when every college denies me. I send the crumpled paper another heated glare.

''-Anyway, Hinata,'' Ino pipes up after she's given me a disbelieving look. ''Sakura and I are going shopping after school. Wanna come?'' Hinata's face flushes a deep red.

''Oh! Sure!'' She says, sounding genuinely surprised.

I can't help but roll my eyes. She's sweet, that girl, but we've been friends with her for as long as we've attended Lakeview High and still she treats us like strangers. Okay, maybe not exactly strangers - she doesn't talk to those at all. More like friendly acquaintances. Or something. Hence why she settles on following Kiba around like a puppy.

Not that he minds.

''It's gonna be fun, I swear! We figured we should eat as much ice cream as we can. I mean, who knows how long the weather will be nice like this.'' Ino says, nudging me in the side. I mumble something unintelligible in reply. ''No worries,'' she says when she notices the uncertain look Hinata gives me. ''She'll be in a great mood after we force feed her some ice cream. If she promises she'll stop being such a drama queen.''

My angry expression is gone instantly. It's moments like this one that I remember why we're best friends. ''Okay, okay. Bad mood gone, see?'' I point at the broad smile my face is contorted into, in case she doesn't believe me.

''I need to get some different friends.'' Kiba muses out loud as he wipes any remains of his lunch away from his mouth. I stare blankly at his empty food tray. It's a mystery to me how guys can wolf down insane amounts of fat and sugar in less than a minute and still not gain an ounce. I guess I'll have to cling to the prospect of them all getting beer bellies around their thirties. And beer bellies never go away entirely, mom told me. So ha.

A dull thud. Someone else has joined our small group and dropped his backpack on the table. It's Shikamaru. ''Hey.'' He greets, expression bored. Before we can say anything, he puts his face on his arms and starts snoring. Loudly.

''Just when we got scared we were running out of topics to talk about! Thank God you're here!'' I greet sarcastically.

''Shhh, Sakura.'' Ino warns me. ''He just had gym class, so he hasn't slept for an entire hour. He must be exhausted.'' As sarcastic as the comment might seem, it wasn't meant to be. Shikamaru needs a lot of sleep.

Kiba and Hinata start telling a story involving Shino - another friend of ours, that hasn't shown up at our usual spot, for some reason - and some bugs he keeps as pets. I tune out the conversation because, frankly, bugs creep me out, and take out my phone. When I touch the screen and tap the icon opening the internet, the words 'incoming message' blink on and off in the top of the screen. It's a text from my dad.

'Sakura, Neither of us can come pick you up today, we'll send Marco. Lots of love,Mom and Dad'

Well isn't that sweet.

"'sup?'' Ino asks, trying to look at the screen over my shoulder.

''Nothing. Marco is picking me up after school.'' I say.

''Your chauffeur? Which one, the one with the mustache?''

''No, the blond one.''

Maybe I should tell you how come my parents have two personal chauffeurs.

You see, Lakeview High isn't just an average high school. It's an extremely expensive, prestigious high school that only allows the élite of Konoha to attend. It's filled with your average rich, snobby kids.

As was to be expected, the most important reason for your spot in the social hierarchy is the amount of money your parents have and the social status of your family. The three most popular kids at school, for instance, are the siblings Temari, Kankuro and Gaara. Their father is the mayor of Konoha, resulting in the three of them being not only extremely rich, but also them personally knowing the most important people of town, local celebrities and the heads of successful corporations (whose kids also attend Lakeview high).

Ino leans back to peer at a honking car passing the school yard. Judging from her appreciative expression, there must have been at least one hot guy inside. The table we claimed - because like in every cliché, your rank in the social hierarchy automatically decides where you sit during lunch breaks - is quite close to the fence separating our school grounds from the busy road along it. As you might guess, the fact that our table is so far away from the main doors isn't a good sign.

Both my parents are lawyers, which makes me and the rest of my family (Mom, dad and my sister Karin - whom I love very deeply, but who also brings out my homicidal side,) pretty rich, but not automatically buds with the 'in crowd'. I could tell you about the jobs of all of my friends' parents and the reason they're not at the popular table, gossiping about the lot of us right now, but you probably don't care. I know I wouldn't.

So I'll get back to the present. One moment I'm enjoying the sun on my bare arms - I'd taken off my uniform jacket to properly enjoy the nice September weather - and the next something hard hits me across the head.

I let out a scream - and not a cute scream like the ones girls in chick flicks manage to produce, but a low, very manly, very unattractive, very King Kong growl - and fall backwards onto the grass, my legs sticking into the air (curse my fetish of turning a chair sideways so I can cross my legs charmingly as I enjoy my lunch!)

''Oh, sorry!'' Someone yells at me, and I look over to the fence only to see two very beautiful piercing sapphire eyes looking back at me. Only the person they belong to does not look very sorry. In fact, he's smirking down at me. ''Nice panties, by the way.''

I wish I had a good, snippy response for that, but I'm so shocked at this guy's rudeness that it's as if my brain is temporarily suspended.

''What the hell is wrong with you?'' My cheeks start burning as I let my legs fall to the grass and use my hands to pull my skirt farther down my thighs, ''Who goes around throwing things at people? Through a damn' fence? You'd have to aim to hit me!" I yell as I grab the object that hit me in the head earlier and examine it. It is a can of - of beer! Blame it on my very proper parents, but I do not approve of alcohol. ''Beer,'' I exclaim dumbly, astonishment replacing my previous anger. ''It's not even two o'clock yet and you're drinking beer? Are you even legal?''

''What does it matter?'' The guy replies obnoxiously, eyeing me with one eyebrow raised as Hinata and Ino help me up. I notice he doesn't look like he could be a student here. For one, his hair isn't neatly styled like guys attending Lakeview, but spiked up. Also instead of the uniform all students have to wear, he's wearing a dirty grey t-shirt and ripped jeans. What was he doing here in the first place? Not to mention the eyebrow ring. Mentally, I shudder. ''And just for the record, I was aiming at the trashcan. I just got lucky.'' He speaks up again, startling me from my thoughts. I hope he didn't notice me staring at him as I zoned out, but the cocky grin he sports says differently.

''What is lucky about all this?'' I shout angrily as Ino attempts to fix my hair.

''That I hit you. Are you dumb or something?'' It isn't until now that I see his friends standing behind him, obviously laughing at me.

''No I am not. And this isn't your school, judging from your, ahem, appearance,'' Inwardly, I give myself a gigantic facepalm. I can't believe I just pulled the Snobby Rich Kid. ''So I suggest you get the flipping frick away from here. I'll tell the principal!''

''And she's not kidding.'' Ino backs me up. Or something. I should be annoyed at her for making me look like some loser tattletale, but the truth is that I am one.

''Oh, wouldn't get in trouble with the principal, right, guys? Let's dash!'' He exclaims sarcastically, and he does an exaggerated little Baywatch run that is probably meant to be funny. Which it most certainly is not, although his friends seem to think otherwise. And, as I look over my shoulder, I see that even my friends have to contain their laughter.

I give a desperate moan, overwhelmed by a wave of annoyance at the people in my life.

The bell then echoes across the school yard. I look around to see my fellow students pack up their stuff and put their empty lunch trays in red containers. A few people stop walking and look at us curiously, but most of them haven't taken notice of my friends and me talking to - well, let's just dub him SJ for now. For 'Stupid Jerk'. Which is a lovely and fitting name for someone like him.

I look back at the object of my annoyance, to see him stare back at me. ''Well,'' he says, ''You'd better go. Time to learn how to fold napkins and arrange flowers.''

I resist the urge to stamp my foot like a two-year old. ''I actually have Math now.'' I retort lamely.

But Hinata comes to the rescue. ''Yeah! We only have Etiquette on Tuesdays!'' she says in a cute attempt on defending our school's pansy reputation.

SJ and his friends give all of us incredulous looks and I mourn my fallen dignity.

Kiba pokes my side and I give an involuntary squeak. Luckily my current self-respect cannot go any lower. ''Not trying to rush you or anything, but we really should be going.''

I breathe out through my nose and give SJ one last glare before stomping off in the direction of the main building. His laughter stays with me until I've closed the door behind me.

''I have never been this angry in my life.'' I hiss at Ino as she copies my homework.

She gives me a look of what I can only imagine is one of pure sympathy at my situation. ''Your arm is blocking my view.''

I remove my arm. ''I'm so humiliated!'' I whine, ''I will find out who he is, and when I do, I'll tell the police! Ha!''

Ino nods, agreeing with me the way a best friend should. ''Is this a 5 or an S?''

''A 5. I mean, he can't just go into the school yard. It's prohibited for anyone who isn't a student or a staff member. And he threw a can at my head, too. It flipping hurt!'' ''Technically, he didn't go into the school yard.'' Ino comments, not looking up from her homework. I ignore her.

''How is it that I'm on top of every class - except History - but whenever I get into a real argument, all I can do is make a fool out of myself?''

Kiba and Shikamaru, whose tables are in front of ours, give each other a look and snicker. I give them a warning glance, basically meaning, ''All I have to do is close my notebook and you're doomed,'' This shuts them up, seeing as how the both of them are turned around in their seats, also copying my homework.

''I think he goes to George,'' Kiba says. ''I saw him before, he's friends with my cousin.''

St. George high is another school in Konoha. It is disgusting, really, and in about everything the exact opposite of my beloved Lakeview. A quick overview:

Lakeview: White, richly decorated.

George: Ugly, boring, brown bricks and tiles.

Lakeview: A beautiful, green school yard.

George: More bricks and tiles.

Lakeview: A swimming pool, multiple sports fields, an auditorium and more.

George: One football field.

Lakeview: Good teachers.

George: Bad teachers.

Lakeview: Friendly, smart and polite students. (Or at least most of them.)

George: Juvenile delinquents.

You like Lakeview better, you say?

...Okay, so I might be a tiny bit prejudiced.

I do have some personal experience concerning the school, though. Experience I got from driving past it in my parents' car, and from things I heard. Like how George has its own jail that students have to go to when they slit each other's throats. Which is about weekly, or so I heard. I tell my friends this, to which they burst out laughing.

''God, you are so gullible. Who told you that?'' Shikamaru manages to hiccup between laughs.

''That's none of your business!'' I say stubbornly as my cheeks tint red for what has to be the hundredth time today. I vow to kill Karin later. Her and her stupid stories. ''Stop laughing!'' I snap, hitting each of my friends over the head with my text-book.

''You could just drop a bomb on his school,'' Ino tries, attempting to get back on my good side. She succeeds. I can never stay mad at her for long.

''Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?'' Shikamaru responds drily.

''I think I like you more when you're asleep!'' Ino snaps back.

I lean back against the back of my chair and look around the bright classroom, only to have a pair of eyes catch mine. I gulp. ''Guys, Kakashi is looking.''

Kiba and Shikamaru turn around in their seats so quickly that they almost topple over and Ino forcefully shoves my notebook back to my side of the table.

Subtle, guys.

I look back at our Math teacher, only to see him roll his eyes and continue whatever he was doing. He's probably too lazy to actually get up and punish us. Either that, or it's that if he wanted to give us detention or something, he'd have to give the rest of the class as well. Because the class is like a war zone at the moment. There's multiple paper planes flying around, and I lost count of the number of spit wads in my hair.

After what feels like ages the school bell rings, signaling the end of a dreadful school day. Although Wednesday is, in fact, our shortest day of school, it is also in the middle of the week. Like every day when school's out, Ino comes back to life in a snap, startling me out of my daze by squeaking, ''Sakura! We're free!''

I try to tell her to stop yelling into my ear, but it's quite hard to talk when being shook like a rag doll.

''Let's go home and change out of our uniforms. Meet me at the bus stop at the mall at three?'' She lets go of me suddenly, and I plop back in my seat. Ino slings her pink Louis Vuitton bag over her shoulder and takes out her cell phone. ''I'm texting Hinata right now.''

''I still have classroom duty,'' I say when she pauses to wait for me. ''I'll see you in an hour.''

She waves at me distractedly and pushes past our classmates. The last I see of her is a flash of her blonde ponytail before she's gone.

Mr Asuma bids me goodbye and I nod at him, smiling. Before I know it I'm the only one left.

I sigh and lean back against my table, looking outside through the window. The parking lot at the back of the school is packed with big, shiny cars. Then comes the flood of beige and white-clad students.

I briefly wonder which car my parents have sent to pick me up - The Mercedes? The Volkswagen? - and then remind myself I have work to do. I close the windows, move the tables to form neat lines of two, empty the trashcan and sweep the floor. Half of those aren't even official tasks for a class president, but alas, I hate doing things halfway. Like I told the class during my campaign: ''If I'm going to be president, I'm going to be the best damn present there's ever been in this damn school!''

Well, minus the 'damn', then. Just, you know, it makes me sound pretty awesome.

When I've finally finished everything it's well past two, and I have to pretty much speed-walk to the door so I won't be late to see Ino. I mean, she's pretty easygoing, but hates when people are tardy. Luckily I'm quite a punctual person. Usually, anyway.

I immediately spot our silver Mercedes, parked on the side of the traffic roundabout in front of the school.

''Hello, Miss Sakura,'' Marco, our chauffeur, greets me. He is a stocky built man in his late fifties, who has worked for our family for as long as I can remember.

''Hey,'' I greet back as he opens the door for me. ''Sorry I'm late, I had class president duties.''

The drive home is a silent one. In barely ten minutes we've arrived at my street. It's one of those broad ones filled with large trees and huge freestanding houses. The biggest one is ours. It's white, and it's garden is filled with brightly colored flowers. There's even a pool in it, with a Jacuzzi.

I don't like to brag, but yeah. Pretty neat.

Our house is nothing compared to the one of the mayor's kids, though. Theirs is practically a castle.

I hop up the path and through the door. I can hear the TV blaring in the living room, signaling Karin is home. ''Hey!'' I yell, but when she doesn't react I just dash up the stairs to change.

My room is gorgeous, if I dare say so myself. It's white and big, with a high ceiling, a lot of windows, a walk-in closet and four poster bed. My favorite part of my room, though, has to be the balcony. It looks out over the pool and because it is positioned on the sunny side of the house, I can sunbathe on it all day long - in the summer at least. There's a few sunbeds on it, but I prefer lying on a towel.

A small downside is that I get horrible sunburns, so I can enjoy the sun for about ten minutes before my skin practically catches fire.

I pick out a white blouse, a salmon colored scarf and a pair of beige pants- all Chanel and Miu Miu, of course, since my mom is disgusted by anyone wearing H&M or any other brand that sells things for a price under fifty dollars - and sprint down the stairs. I almost run into Karin, who emerges out of the kitchen with a bowl of popcorn.

''Hey, little sis!'' she greets me, stuffing a fistful in her mouth. Like always, she looks like a supermodel, even with her red hair disheveled and monstrous, stained sweatpants on. She scratches her stomach unattractively.

The differences between me and Karin are not as vivid as you might think. She, like me, was a Honor Roll student. I have her nose and sense of humor.

One big difference is that, though Karin graduated last year, she decided she wanted to 'take a year off', to my great annoyance. My parents respected this decision, genuinely convinced that she'd pick up college after.

They're also unconcerned by my sister's escapades involving alcohol abuse, which have resulted in her being taken to jail four times in total now.

I'm blaming the fact that she went to Saint George High instead of Lakeview. The students must have somehow infected her.

Except that before she attended George, she did go to Lakeview. And that she was kicked off. For, uh, alcohol abuse on school grounds.

I roll my eyes, brushing past her to grab my bag from the living room. When I turn around she's giving me a calculating look. ''What?''

''You're wearing an oxford blouse outside of school.'' she points out, pieces of popcorn flying out of her mouth.

I roll my eyes once more, ''I am? Well thank you, Captain Obvious. Your work here is done.'' I search through my bag for a hairband and tie my hair into a side ponytail. ''What is wrong with wearing a blouse, anyway?''

''Nothing, except that they're part of grandma's casual attire. And that she's almost ninety.'' Karin replies.

''Well, just because she wears socks, that doesn't mean I can't wear them.'' I retort a tad too late. When I look back at her, frowning, I see that she's now sprawled out on the leather couch and that has lost all interest in our conversation. She's browsing through the channels of our flat screen television, burping into her fist. I almost laugh. ''I'm going shopping.''

She doesn't answer.

Like always, we go shopping in the business part of town. It's where the most expensive shops are located, and also the prettiest part of town, in a bitter, flat way. In the shadows of giant skyscrapers lie flowerbeds, trees and fountains, not to mention the people clad in business suits talking into their expensive cell phones. They don't spare anyone else as much as a sideways glance, like always.

When I step out of the car I quickly spot the tall figure of Ino, focused on the screen of her telephone. She looks up and waves at me.

I would have hated her if I hadn't known her since we were toddlers. Whereas she's blessed with hourglass figure, flawless, naturally tan skin and bright blue laughing eyes, I have a childish, round face, lack in the, ahem, curve department, have insanely pale skin - not to mention my monstrous forehead.

''Late,'' she sings in a Jazzy voice when I reach her, and I let out something between a laugh and a snort. She must be in a good mood or something, because normally she's about fifty times scarier when I'm not on time.

"God, don't ever do that again,'' I say with mock embarrassment as I plop down on a bench next to the fountain. She sits down next to me. ''Where's Hinata?''

''There!'' I follow the trail of her finger to a white limousine. Out comes a Hinata, wearing a flower patterned dress and flip flops. She looks around flustered for a moment, before she spots us.

''Hi!'' she says when she arrives at the fountain as well. ''I'm so sorry I'm late - did you wait long?''

''Don't worry,'' Ino says, putting her cellphone back in her purse, ''The weather is amazing, At least I could sunbathe while I worried whether you two had died in a car accident, or worse - gone off without me. That's something.''

At the puzzled look Hinata shoots me, I life my hand up guiltily, ''I was late too.''

''Anyway, let's go!'' Ino says, jumping up and dragging both of us along by the arms, ''There's loads of things we have to buy. I thought we should go to Abercrombie first and - how about after that we go to Diesel? I really need new jeans.''

''Sure,'' I agree. I need a new pair of jeans as well, because, unlike my chest, my butt has the habit of doubling in size every month, no matter what I eat. This reminds me... ''How about some ice cream afterwards?'' I eye the Ben& Jerry's store across the street longingly.

''Yeah, whatev's,'' Ino replies with a disregarding wave as she spots Abercrombie & Fitch. Somehow, she manages to walk even faster.

When we enter the store she immediately lets go of me and Hinata and sprints off to a far corner of the store. I let out a breath and decide on browsing through a rack with several colors of polo shirts. ''Where do you think Ino is going?'' Hinata asks me. I look up to see her fumbling with her hands awkwardly.

''No idea. Knowing her, I might not want to know either.'' I reply. I pick out a light blue shirt and let my hair fall over it, deciding whether the colors will clash.

''I'd try the mint green one if I were you,'' Hinata proposes surprisingly. I take it from her and hold it in front of my chest, looking in one of the mirrors placed throughout the store. ''It matches your eyes, see?''

It does. ''Thanks,'' when I turn around to try and pick something for her (seems only fair to me), I cast a quick glance out the window, only to unexpectedly see SJ walking past it. I duck instinctively. ''Shit!'' Hinata looks down at my panic-stricken face and then out the window. Her mouth forms an 'O'. ''It's SJ!'' I mouth, gesturing to a spot beside me. It doesn't occur to me that we are in a store and that the object of my dislike would therefore be unable to hear me even if I shouted.

''SJ?'' Hinata asks, ducking slightly.

''I dubbed him SJ. As in Stupid Jerk.'' I explain quickly, ''Now get down!''

"He's looking,'' Hinata says, for some reason turning a deep shade of pink. I frown, realizing that means he's seen me too.

I quickly formulate a plan to save the minuscule amount of dignity I have left after today's lunch, and pretend to have been reaching for a sweater on the floor. When I stand up and turn to face the window, there is no sign of SJ anywhere.

I'm torn between sighing in relief and snapping at Hinata for scaring me when I hear somebody clear their throat obnoxiously, awfully close to us. Slowly, I turn my head. SJ's mocking eyes come into view. ''Hiding from someone?''

''No,'' I say way too quickly, willing my face to remain expressionless.

''What were you doing, then?'' He says, arching an eyebrow. I curse the fact that SJ is such a - well, SJ. He's actually quite good-looking, now that I see him up close. He's got this boyish face, and his eyes are ridiculously blue -

Snap out of it!

''I was just picking this shirt off the floor - oh wait, I don't owe you an explanation.'' I say, thrusting my nose into the air. I see now that there's a black haired guy standing next to SJ, probably a friend of his. I believe he was with him at lunch, too. I decide to dislike him already, even though he's smiling quite oddly at me.

I'm distracted for only a second when SJ snatches the shirt out of my hand and holds it up in front of me. ''Oh really?'' I see now that it is a neon pink see-through top that, if I'd want to be caught dead wearing it, would reach just above my ribs. My face flushes in horror. ''To be honest, I didn't know you were that kind of girl.''

''That's because you don't know me. Like, at all.'' I snap, trying to wriggle the thing out of his hands.

Hinata coughs into her first. ''Guys, there's a saleswoman coming this way.''

I've just managed to retrieve the ridiculous top when I realise that indeed, a sour faced woman is stomping her way over here. I put my most innocent expression on- thank whoever runs the universe that I've inherited my mom's relatively large eyes - and tuck the pink shirt under my arm, as if I was planning on actually buying it.

SJ and his friend, I notice, can also look pretty innocent if they put their mind to it.

''Is there a problem here?'' The woman says, looking SJ and his friend up and down. Her eyes and mouth are twitching as if she's deciding whether to be disgusted by his cheap clothing or approving of- well, the rest. I hold back a snort when I see them switching tactics and instead of playing sweet boys, flashing the saleswoman wide smirks.

''No, everything's just fine.'' He says with a wink. ''Well, now, I mean.''

The woman's pouty expression vanishes instantly. ''Oh,'' she says, twirling a lock of hair around her finger. ''Well, if there's anything you need, just let me know.''

It's all I can do not to retch then and there. I mean, come on. They aren't that good-looking.

''Oh, we will,'' SJ says, earning a giggle of the saleswoman as she parades away - but not before giving Hinata and I a stony look.

Hinata and me exchange disbelieving looks. ''You're disgusting," I snap.

His smirk grows even wider as he looks back to face me. ''You jelly?''

''Jealous. Of a saleswoman you two just manipulated,'' I deadpan. ''Uh-huh. I feel as if my heart's torn to pieces,'' At his arrogant expression, I continue, incredulous, ''I was being sarcastic. And what where you doing walking here in the first place? This is the upper part of town.''

I can't believe this is the second time I'm calling him out on not being rich. I'm starting to feel like a cliché. Although... I don't know for sure if he's rich or not, now that I think about it.

''I didn't know I needed permission to walk somewhere. And it's none of your business, anyway.'' He bites back.

I stick my tongue out at him - I don't know why, I'm much more mature normally, I swear.

''Oh my God, guys, it's like World War lll back there!'' Ino, whom I had completely forgotten about until about a second ago, gasps as she approaches us, only one article of clothing in her hands. ''All I could get was this! I haven't really looked at it yet, but a couple of women were fighting over it, so it's probably something good.'' she looks up from the complicated looking skirt in her hands and catches sight of SJ. Her face stretches into a sly grin. ''Well, well, well... Don't you and Sakura here just keep running into each other,'' she looks back and forth between me and him. She finally notices SJ's friend. "And hello there.''

Hinata's put somewhat of a distance between herself and us, she's looking at flowery scarves placed closer to the exit.

''Sakura, huh?'' SJ asks and I curse under my breath, realizing my idiot best friend has just told him my name.

Ino nods. ''And I'm Ino and that's Hinata. So, what are your names?'' she looks back and forth between both boys.

"I'm Naruto,'' he says, and I can't help but think SJ actually suits him better, as my narrowed eyes dart from him, to my best friend, and back to him.

"And what's your name?'' Ino says, winking at The Friend.

"Sai,''he replies. He gives Ino the same weird smile he gave me earlier.

''And now that we've all exchanged pleasantries, we really have to go.'' I hook my elbow around Ino's and start walking, ignoring her weak attempt at fighting me off.

"But I didn't buy this yet!'' she whines, "Whatever it is.''

"It kind of looks like a parachute,'' Hinata remarks uncertainly as she rejoins our small group.

Nobody but me notices the arrogant smirk Naruto gives me. I groan in annoyance and stomp towards the exit.

''I hope I'll see you again!'' Naruto shouts after me with feigned enthusiasm.

I throw my arms up in the air in despair.

- ''S, why'd we have to leave so soon? I was having a great deal of fun!'' Ino whines as I drag my friends to the Ben and Jerry's shop. She halts, suddenly and her pouty expression changes into a cheeky one. ''Worried I might steal him away from you?''

''Are you kidding me? Take him, I'm begging you to.'' I moan, ''Maybe that'd distract him from making my life a living hell.''

''Didn't you just meet him?'' Hinata aks me, totally ruining my dramatic comment.

Ino agrees with her. ''Yeah, sounds to me like you're overreacting a tad bit. He might not be so bad.''

''Might not be so bad?'' I squeak. ''He hit me over the head with a beer can and then insulted me, like, a hundred times. In five minutes. And I'm pretty sure he just called me a prostitute!'' I slap my palm against my forehead.

He called me a prostitute!

Why didn't I tell the saleswoman he was molesting us or something? The thought alone of his mortified face as he is dragged out of the store brings a smile to my face. Judging from my friends' suspicious expressions, it isn't a pretty one.

"Mmm,'' Ino muses. "his friend was fine though.''

"He wore eyeliner,'' I state.

Hinata chuckles softly into her fist, in sharp contrast to Ino's panicky, "He did not!''

We enter the store and I can't help but wince at the ridiculously long line in front of the cash desk.

''What are you guys gonna take?'' Ino asks as we make our way to the very end of the line. ''I think I'll have the New York Super Fudge Chunk... Or, no, Cookie Dough! Hm, how about I take them both?''

''How do you stay so skinny?'' I ask her.

''I want Cherry Garcia.'' Hinata says. ''But I'm thirsty too...''

''You could take a milkshake?'' Ino offers, pointing at the menu on the wall above us. ''Look, they have Cherry flavored milkshakes.''

''Oh, yeah, I'll do that!'' our quiet friend smiles. ''What about you, Sakura?''

I snap out of my thoughts - involving stabbing Naruto repeatedly with the plastic fork I just grabbed from a bowl on the counter - and stutter, ''Uh, Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz?''

''What a horrible name for ice cream,'' Ino says. ''Glad I'm not you, Saku. You'll look like an idiot when you order.''

At around six o'clock my driver picks me up. It's Peter, this time. I bid my friends goodbye and slam the car door shut behind me.

''How was your shopping trip, Sakura?'' Peter asks me in his heavy German accent.

''It was fun, for the biggest part,'' Before he can press on, I hold up my Diesel bag and change the subject. ''I bought new pants.''

I sit back and rest my head against the leather cushioning, opening my window up to let in what I hope will be a cool breeze. Instead, though, a cloud of exhaust hits me in the face. I cough and close my window again, settling with just the image of the impressive city skyline blocking the cloudless sky from my view.

As Peter tries to maneuver his way through the busy traffic, I notice a tall blond boy and a black haired boy walking on the sidewalk. I frown upon the sight and am not able to relax my face even after I've established that the boys don't look remotely like Sai or SJ - or, wait, his name was Naruto.

Naruto. The name alone makes me mad.

Oh well, at least I won't see him again.

So. An explanation for me starting a new NaruSaku story when I haven't even finished Make Believe yet.

I started this story a while ago, probed by my love of love/hate romances. It was meant to be nothing serious, just something on the side as I tried to regain the fun I had writing when I first started Make Believe. But then it started growing on me, and growing, and growing- and voilà! It's becoming something that, despite its cliché, I've quite fallen in love with.

Make Believe will be finished. I owe that to everybody. I'm quite astounded and touched that people haven't given up on me yet - I've taken you guys for granted, and I'm very, very sorry about that. I hope that you'll like this new story that will NOT replace Make Believe but rather has helped me reconnect with it.

Let the NaruSaku overflow your senses! :)

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